Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day was observed across Japan on April 29, as well as at scores of locations in overseas countries and regions, mostly on weekends in April and May. The theme for this year was: “Taking advantage of this seasonable time, let’s sow seeds of sincerity.” In preparation for the day, followers had made proactive efforts to reach out to invite people living in their community to participate.
Sunzu District, Shizuoka Prefecture
In Sunzu District in Shizuoka Prefecture, more than 600 people participated in Hinokishin Day. One of their hinokishin sites was Senbonhama Park, which is famous for its beach with white sand and pine groves. The participants picked up so much litter that hundreds of trash bags were filled up in three and a half hours. Some of them also took part in a blood donation drive.
Shizue Maeda, who had invited a woman to the event, said: “Through salvation work, I have known her for three years. She joined us today with her family and her children’s friends. Next month, she will attend her first Besseki lecture. I will continue to strive to help save others, taking advantage of this seasonable time—as this year’s theme says.” Hatsuo Nito, who was the manager of the hinokishin site, said: “Thanks to the list of people who participated in the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Yoboku Gatherings, we can reach out to Yoboku and followers more effectively than before; we are now strengthening our network in the local Tenrikyo community. Making use of other opportunities—such as the campaign to hand-deliver the Tenri Jiho newspaper—I would like to further promote our activities.”
Himeji Kita District, Hyogo Prefecture
In Himeji Kita District in Hyogo Prefecture, 354 people engaged in clean-up hinokishin around Himeji Castle, a symbol of the city—which was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1993.
A staff member working at the castle’s management office commented: “Tenrikyo people always voluntarily clean areas at the back of the castle, to which people do not usually pay attention. I’m truly grateful to them.” Mitsuhisa Tamada, a participant in the hinokishin, had undergone cardiac bypass surgery 12 years ago. He said: “Since receiving God’s blessing of reducing a great misfortune to a small misfortune, I have been trying to convey the joy of being kept alive to my acquaintances. I would like to continue my efforts by doing whatever I can do while maintaining a sense of gratitude and indebtedness.”
After the hinokishin activity, some participants also engaged in spreading the name of God around JR Himeji Station.